Tag Archives: Friday’s French

Friday’s French – courant, current, actuel, actual

These are more of those look-alike words that the French call faux-amis. We’ll start with courant which has a few different meanings. We’re only going to look at adjectives here. Les dépenses courantes d’une maison, for example, are ordinary or … Continue reading

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Friday’s French – Minute papillon

As we were driving through Paris recently in the rain, we saw a café called “Minute Papillon” which made me wonder about the origin of the expression which is roughly equivalent to our English saying “Hold your horses!”. Some sources … Continue reading

Posted in French language, Paris, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Friday’s French – Important, importance, substantial, substantiel

Unlike English, important in French can indicate quantity where in English, it only means “of great import or significance”. e.g. Il y avait un nombre important de demandes : there were a large number of applications. In English, we have to choose among … Continue reading

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Friday’s French – poil, cheveux, hair, fur

You may remember a discussion about poêle a couple of weeks ago. Now there is another word that is pronounced exactly the same way (unless you come from the south of France and pronounce the “e” at the end of poêle) and … Continue reading

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Friday’s French – poêle, poeliste, fumiste, fumisterie

I would just like to point out straight away that poeliste is not a real word but it amused my Solognot neighbour Alain no end. We are thinking of putting a wood-burning stove in our downstairs living room (as I … Continue reading

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Friday’s French – marmelade, confiture & jam

I was recently told a very plausible and fascinating story about the origin of the word marmelade. The future Mary Queen of Scots was brought up in France, mostly in the Castle of Amboise just down the road from us. She was … Continue reading

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Friday’s French – L’été indien, l’été de la saint martin, l’été de Vireux

The exceptional warmth in France (and most of the northern hemisphere from what I can gather) this year has everyone talking – incorrectly as usual – about the été indien which is a literal translation of Indian summer. The real … Continue reading

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Friday’s French – déménager, déménagement, ménager

Lundi on déménage ! For some reason, it sounds more specific in French than the English “We’re moving on Monday !” I guess it’s because “move” can be used to mean so many different things but déménager always means moving house (or office or … Continue reading

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Friday’s French in Portugal

My first contact with Portuguese was during my honours year of university in Australia when I studied and fell in love with Romance Linguistics, which is the story of how Latin turned into Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian. It … Continue reading

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Friday’s French – littoral, cotière & rivage

In last week’s Friday’s French, I talked about côte meaning coast (among other things). A reader said he thought that littoral meant coast so I thought I should do a second post! I checked out my trusty Larousse which tells … Continue reading

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